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A Mixed Bag

Reviewing: Nintendo Wii  |  Rating:
Kevin Roman By Kevin Roman on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Gaming Expertise:
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This system has originality with its motion controls although it has its problems which I will go into first. First of all, the internet features are terrible and overpriced; you have to pay $5 to use the Web Browser, many retro (NES, SNES, N64, Neo Geo, Genesis, Sega Master System, and TurboGrafx 16) games are on the Virtual Console at $5-10 each without any demos (you can watch longer gameplay videos on Youtube to know how they play since you'll only see about a 20 second video for some games on Nintendo's site, and none on that purchase screen). Retro games such as Mega Man 3 are bundled for $20 with 9 other Mega Man games in Mega Man Anniversary Collection, or you can go for the 6 Mega Man X games with another Mega Man game in Mega Man X Collection, but on the Virtual Console, this costs $8 for Mega Man 3 alone.

The Nintendo DS Demo Library section was abysmal; it could've had the whole library of DS games to try out, or at least more than about a dozen. Make sure you do the research before investing on anything online; Metal Slug 1 and 2, Mega Man 2 and 3, Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3, and many other games including Zelda are bundled on games you can buy at a discounted price compared to the individual price here, which is a ripoff because you can buy collections of these games and more on the Wii or Gamecube because the Wii is backwards compatible with Nintendo Gamecube games. I also took a look at a couple of WiiWare games, and didn't bother buying since I already have better versions of these derivative games anyway. Why would I play Wild West Guns when I got Link's Crossbow Training that comes with the Zapper and Link's Crossbow Training has you actually interact with Link in addition to shooting things?

Why bother buying Mega Man 9 for $10 when I can get Mega Man 1-8 plus 2 other Mega Man games on Anniversary Collection for the Gamecube for less than $20? I just cannot stress this enough how overpriced the internet features are on this system. At least you can play games online though I never used it.

Channels such as the Forecast and Everybody Votes are a waste of time; I could get better elsewhere on my computer online without spending extra for a web browser. Your Miis, that represent you in events and games such as Wii Sports, look cheaply made as well, though at least Wii games can have good graphics.

The Wii Remotes (aka Wiimote) lack rechargeable batteries, making you need to buy a recharger for this wireless controller. In other words, this system is sort of like a sample to buying many things (if you do not have a Wi-Fi connection, you can buy a LAN adapter though I do not recommend it due to the poor online features). I also felt that buying a Classic Controller is primarily useless due to many games letting you use the Gamecube controller plus the Wiimote can work decently on its own or with the Nunchuk controller for games that don't rely on motion sensors, such as Castle of Shikigami 3. For an extra controller, you need to buy the Wiimote with a Nunchuk controller because the Nunchuk controller comes separately with additional controllers and there is no alternative to using the Nunchuk unlike the Classic Controller.

On a positive note, the Nintendo Wii is backwards compatible with the Nintendo Gamecube. If you always wanted to try out the Gamecube but never wanted to buy it out, this is your chance. You will still have to buy memory cards and controllers for the Gamecube (the system memory and accessories are only for Nintendo Wii related data).

A nice feature from the Wii is that it lets you pause your game at any moment; you can be in the middle of a cutscene and pause it to take a break or to let you know how much power you have left in your wireless Wiimotes. I also want to state that people who actually broke things by losing control of their Wiimotes really have no sense of a grip. I've swung as hard as I could with the Wiimote and it never slipped out of my fingers.

Lastly, it bundles with Wii Sports, which is a decent demo consisting of baseball, boxing, golf, tennis, and bowling. It's a very basic game (ie limitations and bad graphics) that just shows you the motion controls of the system. The boxing game is repetitive since your punches seem to change at random (the manual does not tell you how to throw those haymakers) and you're just doing the motion equivalent of button mashing for the most part. The baseball game is a 3 inning game in which you cannot steal bases nor field (fielding and advancing base runners are automated) and you have to read the manual to know you press a and/or b for different pitches (the in-game tutorial does not tell you this).

The tennis game plays decently although movement is done automatic for you; you just swing and serve. The golf game is forgiving with the putts, so it may be the best game of the selection. Lastly, bowling just does not have the feel of being at the bowling alley. You cannot choose a customized bowling ball size and it's nearly impossible to lose your feel, making it feel repetitive; just go play at a bowling alley in real life instead. Your footwork and unique style of bowling makes it a lot more fun to play in real life plus if you're terrible at bowling, there's no way that you will memorize the feel for it as you do in this game and get 8 pins on average.

Although the Nintendo Wii has its problems, it's a decent system. You can play Nintendo Gamecube games due to its backwards-compatibility or try out the motion controls for a new gameplay experience; it let me enjoy Fishing Master: World Tour.

Update On Apr 02, 2009: The golf game in Wii Sports has 1 course with 9 total holes in which you can do 3 of them sorted by difficulty levels, or all of them at once.